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Tightened work visa rules are now in place for those hoping to migrate to New Zealand. This comes after the country has reached “unsustainable” migration levels.

Immigration Minister Erica Stanford said the aim is to rebuild the economy.

“Getting our immigration settings right is critical to this government’s plan to rebuild the economy.”

According to authorities, a near-record 173,000 people migrated to New Zealand in 2023. Since the end of 2022, the country has been experiencing a massive surge in migration.

From now on, low-skilled applicants will be expected to fulfil English-language requirements. They will also only be allowed to stay for three years whereas they were previously allowed to stay for five.

It will be the job of employers to ensure migrants meet the specified requirements.

“The government is focused on attracting and retaining the highly skilled migrants such as secondary teachers, where there is a skill shortage. At the same time, we need to ensure that New Zealanders are put to the front of the line for jobs where there are no skills shortages.”

While the number of migrants has increased, New Zealanders have also moved to other countries, the most popular being Australia. In 2023, 47,000 New Zealanders left the country.

Australia has also taken action regarding its influx of immigrants. In December, the government announced that it would halve its migration intake by tightening visa rules for international students and low-skilled workers.

Image credit: Visa Guide

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